Nov 16, 2014; Charlotte, NC, USA; Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) on the field in the third quarter. The Falcons defeated the Panthers 19-17 at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
2. Matt Ryan
I’m sorry Atlanta Falcons fans, but Matty Ice ranks at No. 2. For now, that is.
Ryan is an incredibly talented passer, and is in many ways underrated. He’s accurate, makes good decisions and has just about everything you want from your franchise quarterback. No quarterback has completed more passes in their first seven seasons than this man.
Ryan turned 30 last month, which is still young for the quarterback position. Brady won a Super Bowl at 37 this past February; Peyton Manning reached last year’s Super Bowl at the same age.
He is entering the prime of his career, hitting the peak of his talent with seven years of NFL experience in the books.
The positive for the Falcons moving forward is the weapons he has. Julio Jones is one of the best wide receivers in football and is only 26 years old. Roddy White can still offer production, and Justin Hardy should be a solid option in the slot moving forward.
Ryan is also joined with second-year running back Devonta Freeman, who should see more of the football, and rookie Tevin Coleman. These two will help the ground game, but importantly will take the pressure off Ryan. Both can help in the receiving game, too.
With Brees’ play declining, Ryan could take over the No. 1 spot in the divison in the near future, but for now, he’s a close second.
Next: No. 1